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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

32% = TWO terrorist tapes in a week

The usual bump in polls aWol gets (for who knows why) when a new Osama tape comes out didn't seem to happen last week, so now al Qaeda's media committees at the Pentagon have brought out their first-ever Zarqawi video!

But ignore my snark, the video is real. How do I know? Well, according to the NY Times, always a reliable source about Iraq, American official said Tuesday night that intelligence agencies had completed an analysis of the video and concluded that the speaker was Mr. Zarqawi. The man who appears in the video bears a strong resemblance to various photos the American and Jordanian governments have distributed of him.
Perhaps this unnamed government official is referring to the same intelligence agencies that took the pictures of "Zarqawi" and distributed them. Completely convincing, no?

Well, at least the Times doesn't buy this BS completely, only almost. They say the man in the video "identified himself" as Zarqawi, although they then state as fact that Zarqawi is "the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq," and their headline calls it a "Qaeda video." Over at the WaPo, they've swallowed it hook, line, sinker, pole and fisherman. Their headline: Zarqawi Taunts U.S. in Video. The first paragraph:
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, showed his face in a video for the first time yesterday, accusing President Bush of lying to Americans about U.S. military victories in Iraq and vowing to destroy efforts to form a new government there.
They make this unequivocal claim based on thorough independent analysis of multiple sources, right? Hah!
U.S. intelligence officials who evaluated the video, the bulk of which was devoted to his delivery of a lengthy speech in which he claimed that mujaheddin forces now had "the upper hand on the battlefield," said it was genuine.
There you have it. The Washington Post, which just two weeks ago ran the story about how the military "is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq," now presents the latest effort of that propaganda campaign as absolute fact based on the off-the-record assertions of "U.S. intelligence officials."

I swear, if W's ratings get below 25%, we'll hear that Saddam Hussein has escaped, and we'll soon be treated to his videos denouncing the Great Satan. And the Times and Post will be stating as fact that Saddam is off making WMD's again (sic), because unnamed intelligence officials told them so. And if that doesn't work, there's always Emmanuel Goldstein.